We spent 50 days in Peru.
The following words are the ones we associate with Peru:
cold (yes, the same word as for Chile), local transportation means, ceviche, corrida, Andes, llama (and alpaca and vicuña…), altitude, Incas, ‘palta’ (avocado in Peruvian Spanish), markets, festivals, corrida, colours, folklore, guides, fanfare (band), treks, potatoes, local fruits and vegetables (many new to us).
Our highlights / what we (all) liked the most:
- Huayucachi weekly market (near Huancayo).
- Corrida of Huancavelica (our first one).
- Full Day Bike Tour near Cuzco, to Moray and Maras (Salinas).
- Lares Trek.
- Last part of Inca Trail including the arrival in Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate.
- Festival del Señor de Choquechilca in Ollantaytambo.
- Boat trip on the lake during our trip in the Amazon forest (fishing piranhas, spotting black caimans and giant otters).
- TRC lodge in the Amazon forest.
The following places nearly made it to the top list (short of one “vote”):
- Train from Huancayo to Huancavelica (missing Ludivine).
- San Pedro market in Cuzco (missing Jules).
- Second day in Machu Picchu: Machu Picchu visit, including Machu Picchu Mountain (missing Jules).
- Posada Amazonas lodge (missing Cedric).
- “Night” walk in the Amazon forest, with fishing and feeding the caimans (missing Isabelle).
- Festival del Señor de Qoyllority (missing Jules).
- Planetarium of Cuzco (missing Ludivine).
- Second Airbnb in Lima (missing Isabelle).
- The ‘bean-to-bar’ workshop in the Choco Museum in Lima was enjoyed by Isabelle, Florence and I.
- The girls loved the Polvos Azules market.
- Isabelle liked the Circuito Magico del Agua in Lima.
- The girls and I loved the Andahuayllas market; my favourite one with the one in Huayucachi.
- Ludivine, Jules and I liked the ½ Day ‘Cuzco ruins’ bike tour (with the visit of Sacsaywaman and Tambomachay).
- Isabelle and I really enjoyed our day in Pisac (the ruins, the lunch and the market).
- Florence, Jules and I liked the dinner at ‘Uchu Peruvian Steakhouse’, in Cuzco.
- Ludivine and Florence liked the ice cream at Qucharitas, in Cuzco.
- Florence liked the ‘raclette’ at the Buffet Français, in Cuzco.
- Isabelle and I enjoyed our guided ‘Colours & Flavours’ tour, in Lima.
- We liked our gastronomic experiences in Maido and Central, in Lima (although Isabelle was less impressed by Central).
What we liked less:
- Jules didn’t like the Miro exhibition in Lima.
- Jules didn’t like the train from Lima to Huancayo (he was sick…). I must admit that this train journey was a disappointment for all of us.
- Isabelle and Jules didn’t enjoy much the car trip between Huancavelica and Ayacucho (despite the big llamas herd).
- Florence didn’t like the long bus journey (full day) between Andahuayllas and Cuzco (via Abancay).
- Jules didn’t like the Ollantaytambo ruins (he was in a bad mood…).
- I was very much disappointed by the Chunco clay lick in the Amazonian forest, and so were Florence and Jules. The other clay lick (Collpa Colorado) was a bit better; Ludivine enjoyed it.
- Isabelle was not fan of the night walks in the jungle.
- Jules found the Corpus Christi festival in Cuzco too crowded.
- The width of the beds!
Our general feeling:
- I love Peru; it’s my favourite country of the trip.
- We loved the “authenticity” that we could find everywhere as soon as we escape from Lima and Cuzco. It’s the country (out of the ones we’ve visited during our trip) that it the least touched by the globalization. And I think there are other countries from South America even less touched by such globalization.
- You still see all these very small shops (basically selling the same things…) everywhere. Even the local food is still very much traditional.
- The fervour and devotion that we could feel during the (many) festivals are amazing. Our western civilizations lost this faith.
- Music is permanently present, everywhere (many bands).
- The weather was great (except in Lima) but cold. We had a constant blue sky in the Andes.
- Cuzco is a very nice city (although too touristy); it is a nice base to visit the region around (although it’s difficult to find nice Airbnb’s).
- Lima is not a beautiful city but we enjoyed the chill week that we spent in the nice Airbnb at the end.
To do / visit during next stay:
- There’s so much to see! We only visit a small part of the country (despite staying 7 weeks): the centre, from Lima to Cuzco with a small trip into the Amazon forest.